10 Random Thoughts on Teaching and Learning Part One:
1). The relationships among the staff in school have a significant impact on student learning & student achievement.
2). Teachers are responsible for their own professional development.
3). The simple idea that somebody encourages and believes in you can be hugely empowering.
4). A teacher not being attentive to the emotional status of the students in class is approaching educational malpractice.
5). Use your professional language with your students; in time, they will too…be a vocal & visible advocate for teaching.
6). Get with your students and move in your class!
7). Our students need all types of experiences. It’s not all about assessment and credits. .
8). Plan with purpose & act with confidence.
9). The purpose of education is so that younger generations surpass us rather than match us. We are creating leaders of tomorrow.
10). Our future depends on the individuals who break from the conventional practices
On-line Discussion Boards
I have had much success with this over the last 5 years but it has not been easy. I have relayed a great deal on literature and sharing ideas. Edelstein and Edwards (2002) reported the need for the teacher to manage the online learning environment through threaded discussion boards. “To accomplish a level of interaction that is conducive to an active and progressive learning community, a facilitator may opt to incorporate threaded discussions as a means of generating or promoting interaction” (Edelstein, S., Edwards, J. 2002, p21). Typically this would occur in a Wiki or perhaps some variant of a Blog.
The use of threaded discussion boards, allows for a level of connectivity and interaction in the process of learning that potentially occurs on the learners’ terms and time. It is also a process that calls upon the different learning styles. Steven A. Greenlaw and Stephen B. DeLoach (2003). “If critical thinking is to occur, students must be engaged by the assignment….For this engagement to occur, several things are necessary. First, the electronic discussion needs to be seen as an integral part of the course, neither optional nor extra credit. Second, the discussion should be clearly connected to the material being covered during the in-class sessions” (Greenlaw, S. A., DeLoach. S.B. 2003, p42).
“A threaded discussion is a resource that enables individuals to post messages, read, and reply to colleagues in an asynchronous discussion. This asynchronous format is one in which each member can contribute at a time that is convenient and is utilized for its capability to bring online learners together, even though they may connect with one another at different times and from different locations (Liaw & Huang, 2000; Wall Williams, et al., 2001; Youngblood, Trede, & DiCorpo, 2001)” (Waltonen-Moore. S., Stuart. D., Newton. E., Oswald. R., Varonis, E. 2006, p288).
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